ARTICLE 11 is an Indigenous arts activist creation and production company founded in 2013 by Tara Beagan (Ntlaka’pamux) and Andy Moro (Mixed Euro/Mushkegowuk Cree). The company takes its name from the eleventh article in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states Indigenous peoples have a right to practice their arts and culture as they choose, and have the resources to do so.
ARTICLE 11 has been to Edinburgh before having brought Declaration: Rematriation to CanadaHub in 2017, a performance installation that gave Indigenous artists from Turtle Island (a.k.a North America) the opportunity to tell their stories, forcing audiences to confront the oppressive stereotypes that have contributed to the destruction of Indigenous identities.
As part of the Indigenous Contemporary Scene programme ARTICLE 11 return to CanadaHub with their acclaimed Deer Woman, telling the story of a young, missing and murdered girl in a country where 4,000 Indigenous women and girls are officially recognised as being either missing or murdered.
Deer Woman follows the story of Lila, big sister to one of the missing girls, who refuses to stand idly by. She’s the daughter of a hunter and ex-army, too, so when circumstances converge, Lila finds the perfect opportunity to avenge her baby sister’s death while exercising the skills taught to her by the Canadian government.
We talked to ARTICLE 11 founder and Deer Woman creator, Tara Beagan, about this hugely important work.
“The reality of the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in our country is so profoundly upsetting. It can leave a person feeling powerless. Deer Woman is a way to demonstrate the power Indigenous women have.”
“The Canadian government has long tried to legislate Indigenous peoples out of existence, so the performance of this work itself is a political act. The production also features an entire team of established Indigenous artists, presenting a show that crosses every cultural barrier.”
“The show questions why so many Canadians are complacent about the murder and abduction of so many Indigenous women. This is perhaps why we have not yet played in Canada, though we are thrilled to share this story with the global community.”
“The show embraces the greatest rage experienced by the families of the murdered women and girls. It pushes its sole character to face what she is capable of when confronted with the opportunity to wreak vengeance. The show also takes society’s obsession with true crime and asks what we’d really be willing to do in order to seek justice in the world. Deer Woman is also straightforward great storytelling performed by a truly gifted actor (Cherish Violet Blood).”
Deer Woman runs 31 July – 24 August at CanadaHub – book tickets
Taking place on the Isle of Arran , the Creators Exchange will bring together a group of Indigenous creators, elders and language keepers from Turtle Island with their Scottish and Gaelic counterparts.